Summer is here! And that means more heat and higher electric bills from running your beloved air conditioner. Energy is not cheap any time of the year, whether it's summer or winter; this we know for sure, and the electric bills can keep rising. So, what can we do to beat the heat and feel comfortable in our own homes yet not drain our bank accounts? Make our homes run more energy-efficient, of course! Thankfully, in recognizing the energy crisis, the world has progressed in being productive in creating ways we can help. You can now do many things in your home to make sure you are doing your part in helping the planet while lowering your costs!
Below, are some ways to help you make your home more energy-efficient, so you can possibly use the money you'll be saving towards paying off those unwanted bills or towards that next family vacation!
Replace Your Windows
Okay, okay, we know this is a big one! But replacing your windows can drastically help control the temperature of your home. When replacing your windows, look for insulated windows with argon gas between the two panes and a low-emissivity coating on the glass. This will be one of the more costly projects, but it will pay off in the long run, resulting in up to 50% savings on your energy bills! Looking for a more affordable energy-saving option? Sealing all air leaks and cracks in your windows and applying a sheet of shrink film to your windows will help a lot.
Replace outdated light bulbs
Starting in 2014, manufacturers put a halt to the production of 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent lightbulbs (which was the next step after removing the 100-watt and 75-watt bulbs). Instead, we have much more energy-efficient lighting available with the same if not better illumination. Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs uses 90% less energy than the old standard incandescent light bulb while providing the same effects. These also offer longer-lasting light and an approximate $225 in savings a year.
Replace appliances with a High Energy Star rating
First off, what is Energy Star? According to EnergyStar.gov, "ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions."
When the time comes to replace appliances, look for the Energy Star logo to ensure you are cutting energy, reducing your bills, and helping mother earth! To find out more about the Energy Star rating and find tools to assist you in your planning to make your home more energy-efficient, click here!
Unplug unused chargers (otherwise known as energy vampires)
According to energy.gov, "mobile phone chargers that are left plugged in after your phone is disconnected consume .26 watts of energy -- and 2.24 watts when your phone is fully charged and still connected." Wow, think of the unused chargers and appliances you have plugged into your home that are not being used on a continuous base! This could definitely add up. So do yourself a favor and take the extra step of unplugging cords you’re not using.
Avoid washing clothes in hot water
When it's not necessary, avoid washing your clothes in hot water. ColdWaterSaves.org has all kinds of interesting facts! For example, they report that 90% of the washing machine's energy goes towards heating the water! And when you wash 4 out of 5 loads of your laundry in cold water, you could cut out 864 pounds of CO2 emissions in a year! That's equivalent to planting .37 acres of U.S. forest! Another tip, when it comes to drying your clothes, choose to line dry instead of using your drying machine to help save on energy and the electric bill as well! To find more fun facts about using cold water, click here.
So now that you have some of the ways you can save your wallet and your planet while still enjoying the luxuries of electricity, start replacing the old and bring in the new! Matadors Community CU’s GoGreen Home Energy Loans can help you get the upgrades you want with no money down!